Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: July 24, 2016
By: Laura Deni


Leonard DiCaprio has not been alleged to have committed any crime.
Okay. So what happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas.

For instance, those parties with dwarfs. The Feds don't care there was a Ferris wheel, Oompa Loompas and nearly naked women. The government is irked because of where they think the money came from to pay for the parties, gambling and a lifestyle that some might consider to be a tad bit excessive.

For instance, that July 15, 2012 gambling jaunt Leonardo DiCaprio made with controversial party animal Low Taek Jho - known to his buddies including Paris Hilton as “Jho Low”, Riza Aziz, chief executive of Red Granite Pictures, who is also the stepson of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, along with Kentucky businessman Joey McFarland, a co-founder of Red Granite, which at its peak is reported to have had 12 employees.

Jho Low, Aziz and McFarland bankrolled The Wolf of Wall Street, a Red Granite produced flick about a crooked stockbroker who scammed millions of dollars that he blew on drugs and hookers. The movie starred DiCaprio.

According to the complaint, the fun loving quartet picked the Venetian in Las Vegas to gamble. The group used Low's account - financed via funds siphoned from the 1MDB investment fund - from which $1.15 million was withdrawn in one day.

None of the guys are underage and the money wasn't counterfeit. The US Justice Department contends those gambling funds were embezzled money from 1Malaysia Development Berhad, also known as 1MDB, which was created by the Malaysian government to promote economic development and overseen by the country’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak.

In a far ranging series of complaints filed last week in Los Angeles Federal Court, the allegations demand that all future profits, royalties and distribution proceeds from the Oscar-nomi­nated 2013 flick The Wolf of Wall Street, which garnered five Oscar nominations, on the grounds that it was part of an international money-laundering scheme involving a development firm set up by the prime minister of Malaysia.

“This is a case where life imitated art,” said US Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell.

While the US Justice Department has never openly sung I Wanna Be a Producer, never-the-less they are now in that above the title headline after the filing in which they reduce DiCaprio to a number. Throughout the complaints the actor is referred to as “a lead actor in The Wolf of Wall Street known in the filing as "Hollywood Actor 1" in the "largest single action" ever brought by the Department of Justice's Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, a federal effort to recover assets stolen by foreign officials and laundered in the U.S..

In a series of interrelated complaints, the feds are seeking a total $1 billion in assets paid for with money allegedly stolen by corrupt Malaysian officials and their associates from 1MDB.

The assets include five swank Manhattan properties: penthouses in the Time Warner Center and Walker Tower, condos in the Park Laurel building and at 118 Greene St., and a stake in the Park Lane Hotel.

Other assets the Justice Department is seeking to seize include a $35-million jet, music publishing rights of EMI Music and works of art by Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet, according to court filings.

More than $100 million of the filthy lucre also allegedly went to produce The Wolf of Wall Street, which has amased more than $392 million in ticket sales worldwide. It is director Martin Scor­sese’s highest-grossing film.

Caldwell indicated that the suit requests only the movie’s future earnings because the feds aren’t “able to seize anything retroactively.”

The Los Angeles federal court filing notes that Low got a full-screen “special thanks” in the closing credits and was among three people given props as “collaborators” during DiCaprio’s acceptance speech when he won the 2014 Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture.

DiCaprio also gave credit to Riza Aziz, and to Joey McFarland.

Prosecutors also stated that five separate money transfers between accounts in Switzerland and Singapore led to the 2012 purchase of the former Ricardo Montalban estate in Los Angeles for $39.98 million. Some of those transfers, according to court documents, were between accounts controlled by Jho Low.

For years publications have questioned how Low, a Wharton graduation from Malaysia, got his discretionary income.

According to Low's official biography, at that time he was serving as a group adviser of several international corporations and in 2008 was appointed to the board of UBG Berhad, a financial-services group in Kuala Lumpur.

A well research and balanced New York Post article on November 8, 2009 penned by Brian Niemietz and Jennifer Gould was headlined Big-spending Malaysian is the mystery man of city club scene. In that report it was declared that: "Taek Jho Low (with Usher) once helped run up a $160,000 tab at Avenue, flew a bevy of Pink Elephant waitresses to Malaysia, reportedly sent 23 bottles of Cristal to Lindsay Lohan at 1OAK and lives at the posh Park Imperial."

Reportedly the champagne was $900 a bottle and his apartment set him back another$100,000 month. The Park Imperial is also the crash pad of James Bond star Daniel Craig and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs.

The investigative article stated: "Speculation is brewing over where Low is getting his money from. One inside observer said, “Nobody spends their own money like that. It’s just weird.”

The NY Post article indicated that a man named Hamad Alwazzan from Kuwait informed the paper that he had paid the Avenue bill.

The Hollywood Reporter printed that DiCaprio and Low partied "together in New York clubs. DiCaprio was also spotted with the Malaysian playboy at the South Africa Soccer World Cup in 2010, with Low regular Paris Hilton also in attendance."

Several outlets have printed details of over the top birthday parties. The Sarawak Report published a scathing article about Low, including details on a Las Vegas birthday party which included 20 dwarfs who were garbed as Oompa Loompas who "frolicked throughout the party while scantily clad Circue Du Solei-style aerial acrobats performed overhead. At one point, DiCaprio was rapping on stage with Q-Tip and Busta Rhymes."

There were also lions and tigers in cages, a full size Ferris wheel and fireworks. The 14-foot bar was carved from solid ice. According to published reports members of the press who were in attendance, or fed information, were controlled - told how to write their stories - what to praise and when to be vague.

In addition to those mentioned, the 300 in a party hardy mood included Robert De Niro, Jamie Foxx, Benicio del Toro, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Olympic swimming great Michael Phelps, Korean pop sensation Psy of Gangnam Style fame, and Britney Spears who sang to the birthday boy.

Among Low's birthday gifts was a $2.5 million, 1,000-horsepower Bugatti Veyron.

The following year DiCaprio celebrated his 39th birthday at Tao Downtown. According to multiple sources, Low's birthday present for DiCaprio the best actor Oscar Marlon Brando won in 1955 for On the Waterfront. Low reported paid some $600,000 for the trophy.

The Sarawak Report printed that it "has previously documented how his extended partying of the century began shortly after the first US$700 million was transferred out of Malaysia’s 1MDB development fund into the Swiss account of a company owned by him – namely Good Star Limited, incorporated in the Seychelles. More information has crept out about Jho Low’s astonishing expenditures of his ill-gotten gains from Malaysia, as the full magnitude of his excess becomes clear."

In a sarcastic and bitter editorial the Sarawak Report continued: "How kind of his friend Khadem to present him with the world’s most expensive motor. How marvellous for all those self-indulgent Hollywood stars to binge off such excess in the midst of undressed women and amusing dwarfs. Meanwhile, pity the poor Malaysians back home on whose behalf 1MDB’s billions have been borrowed in the name of progress and prosperity. Because it is those Malaysians who are the ones who are going to have to pay all this money back and ultimately fund Jho Low’s party splashes and champagne. It is clearly a pity that Prime Minister Najib Razak, who personally manages 1MDB and is a close associate of Jay Low, has yet to utter a single word to call for his arrest or extradition – he saves those threats for Sarawak Report!"

Responding to the civil lawsuits filed by the United States Department of Justice, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's press secretary Tengku Sarifuddin Tengku Ahmad stated that the Malaysian government "will fully cooperate with any lawful investigation of Malaysian companies or citizens in accordance with international protocol."

Sarifuddin said as prime minister, Najib "has always maintained that the law would be enforced, without exception, if any wrongdoing is proven."

Sarifuddin added that Malaysian authorities "have led the way in investigations into 1MDB.

"The company has been the subject of multiple investigations within Malaysia, including by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the auditor-general and the bipartisan Public Accounts Committee.

"After comprehensive review, the attorney-general found that that no crime was committed. 1MDB is still the subject of an investigation by the Royal Malaysian Police,” reads the statement.

The US deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Andrew McCabe in a press conference organized by the US Department of Justice said the Malaysian people were defrauded on an enormous scale in a scheme which had tentacles reached around the world.

That leads to the movie business - namely Red Granite which brought to the world The Wolf of Wall Street.

The Justice Department is seeking to seize future royalties from Red Granite as part of the largest action brought under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, Those named in the complaint have not been charged with any crimes. However, law enforcement officials confirmed there is an ongoing criminal investigation.

“We are seeking to forfeit and recover funds that were intended to grow the Malaysian economy and support the Malaysian people,” Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch said Wednesday, July 20. “Instead, they were stolen, laundered through American financial institutions and used to enrich a few officials and their associates.”

Red Granite's chief executive Riza Aziz is a major player in the civil forfeiture suit. Red Granite Pictures has denied allegations that it used stolen funds from 1MDB to produce The Wolf of Wall Street.

"To Red Granite’s knowledge, none of the funding it received four years ago was in any way illegitimate and there is nothing in today’s civil lawsuit claiming that Red Granite knew otherwise.

"Red Granite continues to cooperate fully with all inquiries and is confident that when the facts come out, it will be clear that Riza Aziz and Red Granite did nothing wrong," the company said in a statement, which was first reported by Variety.

Other than Riza, the complaints filed in Los Angeles also named businessman Jho Low and two Abu Dhabi government officials. Khadem al-Qubaisi and Mohamed Ahmed Badawy Al-Husseiny.

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Artistic creations by Haile King Rubie. The images on the bottles are similar in style to his paintings on canvas and paper: layers of mystical expressionism with undefined faces, bursting with themes of spirits and souls. They range in size from five to twelve inches. Being discards from a bar, many of the bottles have long necks. About half are painted on a black background; others are clear or have a beige background.
an exhibition of works by Haile King Rubie, a 26-year-old Harlem artist with Down Syndrome, will inaugurate the Clara Francis Gallery, a new Harlem art spot, July 27 to August 17, 2016 in Harlem, New York City. The exhibition,is primarily drawn from Rubie's "art waves" of 2013 and 2015 and features contemplations of his otherwise inaccessible inner world.

Haile King Rubie, an artist living with some developmental limitations, uses art to express feelings that are otherwise difficult for him to communicate. He attended The Learning Tree Preparatory School as a child where his affinity for music, dance, and the arts were nurtured. For the past ten years, he has been exploring ideas of his family, African and Caribbean cultures, dance, and music through acrylic abstractions and by paintings on found objects such as bottles. He received formal artistic training at The Art Students League of New York, The Harlem School of the Arts (HSA), and with two private mentors. Haitian-born artist Carl Thelemaque developed a special bond with him, helping him to take artistic risks and experiment with other media. Jamaican-born artist Ronaldo Davidson experimented with watercolors with him.

The artist's father is Bernard Rubie who has presented a highly successful dinner theater production of Sugar Ray, a play by Lawrence Holder, performed by Reginald L. Wilson and directed by Woodie King Jr., at his New Harlem Besame Restaurant, from February through April, 2016.

Haile King Rubie's canvases and works on paper have been exhibited ten times in group shows and have brought him impressive awards and commendations. He has recently pioneered a distinctive style of painted bottles which represent a new direction in his work and which will be seen publicly for the first time in this show.

Individuals with Down Syndrome experience deep emotions that they are able to communicate through visual and performing means, but are otherwise challenged to express. As a child, Rubie was introduced to forms of physical expression through martial arts and drumming training. When he was a teenager, his family paired him with a new artist mentor, the Haitian-born artist Carl Thelemaque, and Haile's exceptional genius for painting emerged and began to flourish.

In the works chosen for this show, he layers thoughts on culture, personal value, family, global issues (including the Haitian Earthquake), and music using acrylic paint on paper. All his paintings are signed with a bold "Haile." The works are unique in their ability to express complex introspection so clearly. Haile has donated two paintings to the Mount Sinai Hospital Pediatric Heart Center following the heart-reconstruction surgery that saved his life in 2008. His canvas, Balloons (2007), was introduced by Sharon Stone at the National Down Syndrome Foundation's 2011 Spring Luncheon in NYC; the work was presented to author Jagatjoti S. Khalsa as an award for his 2010 book, I'm Down With You: An Inspired Journey.

Fight or Buy Liberty Bonds, Howard Chandler Christy, 1918, Gift of Thomas L. and Edward L. Pulling, Norman Rockwell Museum Collections
During World War I illustrated posters inspiring public support served as a primary mechanism of mass communication.

Designed to rally Americans to the cause, these persuasive visual symbols employed bold graphics, strong imagery, and concise commands to inspire a sense of nationalism and pride.

Imbued with iconic symbols like the Statue of Liberty, Uncle Sam, and the American flag, posters were installed throughout the country as prominent reminders of the need for support.

Over the Top includes 44 original posters created by major American illustrators including J.C. Leyendecker, James Montegomery Flagg, and Howard Chandler Christy. The exhibition offers compelling perspectives on the American experience during this dramatic time in our nation’s history.

Organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA.

July 24 - October 2, 2016 at the Huntsville Museum of Art in Huntsville, Alabama.


that annual star-studded dog and cat adoption event to benefit New York City animal shelters and adoption agencies takes place Saturday, July 30 in Shubert Alley.

Founded by Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore, the 18th anniversary Broadway Barks will again help hundreds of New York City’s shelter animals find permanent homes by informing New Yorkers about the plight of thousands of homeless dogs and cats in the metropolitan area.

The popular and highly attended event will feature celebrities presenting hundreds of adoptable animals from 27 animal rescue groups.

Celebrity participants lending their support include:

Bill Berloni (The Crucible)
Reed Birney (The Humans)
Sierra Boggess (School of Rock-The Musical)
Sophia Anne Caruso (Lazarus/Runaways)
Allison Case (Matilda The Musical)
Michael Cerveris (Fun Home)
Leanne Cope (An American in Paris)
Alma E. Cuervo (On Your Feet!)
Drew Gehling (Waitress)
Rick Holmes (Matilda The Musical)
Jayne Houdyshell (The Humans)
Judy Kaye (Wicked)
Beth Malone (Fun Home)
Willow McCarthy (Matilda The Musical)
Judy McLane (Mamma Mia)
Brian Stokes Mitchell (Shuffle Along)
Bebe Neuwirth (The Addams Family)
Brad Oscar (Something Rotten!)
Jill Paice (An American in Paris)
Gabriella Pizzolo (Fun Home)
Emily Skeegs (Fun Home)
Peter Scolari (Wicked)
Carrie St. Louis (Wicked)
Max von Essen (An American in Paris)
Aviva Winick (Matilda The Musical)
Amra-Faye Wright (Chicago)
Jessica Keenan Wynn (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical).

Designing this year’s Broadway Barks Playbill program and poster is famed illustrator and theatrical poster designer, James McMullan. who is perhaps best known for designing 40 plus Lincoln Center Theater posters.

Prince Harry and Sir Elton being interviewed by Yolanda and Beatrice for CRFprojects. Photo: Kensington Palace.
recently participated in an AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa during which both Prince Harry and Sir Elton made moving speeches.

Part of Prince Harry's speech included: "At the time of the first International AIDS conference, HIV was a death sentence. Treatment was not widely available in the developed world, let alone in poorer regions. Stigma kept HIV positive people from talking openly about their condition and kept vulnerable people from having the courage to step into a clinic and ask for a test.

"But thanks to the work of leaders in the fight against HIV - people like Nelson Mandela, Sir Elton John, the brave activists of TAG and ACT UP, people like Dr Peter Piot, and like my mother, Princess Diana - we have made huge progress.

"When my mother held the hand of a man dying of AIDS in an East London hospital, no one would have imagined that just over a quarter of a century later treatment would exist that could see HIV-positive people live full, healthy, loving lives.

"But we now face a new risk - the risk of complacency.

"As people with HIV live longer, AIDS is a topic that has drifted from the headlines. And with that drift of attention, we risk a real drift of funding and of action to beat the virus.

"We cannot lose a sense of urgency, because despite all the progress we have made, HIV remains among the most pressing and urgent of global challenges - 1.1m people died of AIDS and 2.1m were infected last year alone. HIV remains the number one cause of death amongst adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa. In my own country, infection rates are still rising amongst important groups despite the availability of instant testing and universal access to treatment.

"So it is time for a new generation of leaders to step forward. It is time for us to step up to make sure no young person feels any shame in asking for an HIV test. It is time for us to step up to make sure that girls and boys with HIV aren’t kept from playing with their friends, classmates, and neighbors. It is time for us to step up and acknowledge that stigma and discrimination still act as the greatest barrier to us defeating this disease once and for all."

In a related story, Elton John has announced that on Monday, October 10, 2016, tennis stars Lindsay Davenport, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, and Andy Roddick will headline World TeamTennis (WTT) Smash Hits in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace, a charity night of tennis co-hosted by longtime friends Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King.

Last year's event in Las Vegas raised more than $1 million, bringing the historic total to more than $14 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and various local AIDS charities since 1993.

Tennis action will be preceded by a VIP Reception and Auction. Elton, Billie Jean, and all players will participate in the pre-match live auction, which will include an Elton John signed piano bench and King’s Wimbledon tickets among other items.


released on Broadway Records. From the first selection A Piece of Sky penned by Alan and Marilyn Bergman and Michel Legrand for Barbra Streisand's film Yentl, you'll understand why rising star Alexa Green spent two years as Glenda in the Los Angeles and San Francisco productions of Wicked.

Her voice is delightfully and dramatically mercurial. She has marvelously creative and statement making vocal pipes.

In this her debut CD she encompasses what she calls her favorite type of music - country and bluegrass.

The native New Yorker offers a lengthy New York Medley featuring Chad Lefkowitz-Brown on trombone combines a country infused The Lord Must Be in New York City, with Another Hundred People, I Miss New York and a jazz/rock New York State of Mind, with some fine horn and drum work.

Merry Go 'Round turns a children's game into adult confrontations. Summerfling is peppy and pop driven. Mariah Carey and Carole King's If It's Over with a soulful beginning sequing into a hallelujah gospel sound that delivers the message that an end can really be a beginning. Her powerful rendition of the blues' standard Blues in the Night can stand up against any you have ever heard.

This is a studio recording of what was originally produced for the stage as A Shining Hour live at 54 Below in New York City. She deserved to have received several standing ovations.

Her vocal selections take an interesting mash up - from Joni Mitchell's California to a rockin' bluesy version of Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer's Come Rain or Come Shine. She's got the sexy innuendo chops needed for Fats Waller and Clarence Williams' Squeeze Me as well as a dynamite jive version of Annie Ross and Wardell Gray's Squeeze Me, and doesn't hold back delivering Jule Style, Betty Comden and Adolph Green's Being Good Isn't Good Enough.

Green is good enough. She has an exceptional voice which she knows how to manipulate and control. She can deliver be it rock, country or gospel. Look for Alexa Green to have a long and successful career.

A lovely album with eleven carefully thought out tracks plus bonus tracks of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road/Look to the Rainbow, performed with perfect vocal and instrumental backing.

Musical direction/piano/ excellent arrangements and orchestrations by Dylan Glatthorn. Syberen Van Munster on guitar. Daniel Bailen on bass. Andy Rinn Martinek handles the drums. Tenor Saxophone played by Chad Lefkowitz-Brown. Rich Green is the violinist. Wurlitzer Electronic Piano played by Dylan Glatthorn. Ryan Cantwell on cowbells. Background vocals by: Alexa Green, Alexis Sims, Kelly King, Bryna O'Neill, Blaine Alden Krauss and Christopher Weaver.

Recorded by Alex Venguer at 2nd Story Sound in New York City. Mixed by Alex Venguer and Ryan Cantwell at Ootermind Studios in Brooklyn, NY. Mastered by Oscar Zambrano at Zampol Productions, NY.


Prince Charles having a good time chatting and joking with cast members of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo: Tim Rooke/REX
and his wife Duchess Camilla enjoyed a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the historical Minack Theatre in Cornwall, England. Afterwards they spoke to the actors with Camilla asking numerous questions about the costumes.

The world famous outdoor venue is precariously constructed above a gully on the cliff's edge at picturesque Porthcurnohe.

The season runs each year from May to September, and more than 100,000 annually see a performance.

The summer season includes 20 plays, musicals and opera, together with music, comedy and story-telling produced by companies from all over the UK and visiting companies from the USA.

A Midsummer Night's Dream finished performances July 22. The Titfield Thunderbolt adapted by Philip Goulding, opens a five night stand on July 25 followed by Dion Boucicault's The Shaughraun on August 1.

REHEARSALS BEGIN THIS WEEK for the Julie Andrews' directed My Fair Lady which opens August 30 at the Opera House in Sydney, Australia.

Director Andrews has assembled an international cast of theatre royalty for this 60th anniversary production of the Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's play and Gabriel Pascal's motion picture Pygmalion.

The stellar lineup includes Alex Jennings as Henry Higgins, Anna O'Byrne as Eliza Doolittle, Reg Livermore as Alfred P. Doolittle, Robyn Nevin as Mrs. Higgins and Marl Vincent as Freddy. The role of Colonel Pickering will be played by Tony Llewellyn-Jones and Deidre Rubenstein will play Mrs. Pearce.

Choreographer: Christopher Gattelli - Set Designer: Oliver Smith - Costume Designer: Cecil Beaton - Scenic Supervision: Rosaria Sinisi - Costume Recreation: John David Ridge - Lighting Designer: Richard Pilbrow - Sound Designer: Michael Waters - Hair and Wig Designer: John Isaacs - Make-up Designer: Rick Sharp - Musical Director: Guy Simpson - Associate Scenic Supervisor: Naomi Berger - Associate Lighting Designer: Michael Gottlieb - Associate Choreographer: Stephen Bienskie - and Associate Director: Karen Johnson Mortimer.

AN ADULTS-ONLY late night at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, England where guests can partake of a science feast with 3D printed chocolate and insect sushi. Entertainment promises to help the food digest.

Following a four-day artistic residency, acclaimed composer Anna Meredith and a team of young musicians will premiere The Hexagon Experiment, a new commission with Brighter Sound inspired by graphene and the museum’s Wonder Materials: Graphene and Beyond exhibition. Guests at the free event can discover tiny science with graphene-inspired jewellery making, and perhaps the tiniest science of all: quantum theory. Plus, take a look at the Wonder Materials exhibition and enjoy a drink from the bar, which will be open all night.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016.

JULY 25 is National Hot Fudge Sundae Day.


THE 22nd FIRE ISLAND DANCE FESTIVAL which took place July 15-17, 2016 shattered its fundraising record bringing in $560,133 .

Presented by and benefiting Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, performances included Wendy Whelan and Brian Brooks, Ballet Contemporáneo de Camagüey Cuba, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Gallim Dance, KEIGWIN + COMPANY and MADBOOTS DANCE, plus choreography by Al Blackstone, Abdul Latif and Darrell Grand Moultrie.

THE NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE IN OTTAWA, CANADA has announced that Heather Gubson has been appointed the new NAC Presents Producer. She will assume her new duties on September 20, 2016.

Gibson has run the Halifax Jazz Festival and served as the Chair of the East Coast Music Association, member of the board for CAPACOA (The Canadian Arts Presenting Association), The Khyber Centre for the Arts, and The Western Roots Artistic Directors.

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein.

Directed by Gary Griffin.

Choreography by Alex Sanchez.

Brad Haak is the Music Director.

Michael McCormick (Tevye), Anne L. Nathan (Golde) and Nancy Opel.

A musical that celebrates family, tradition and community, Fiddler on the Roof is one of the greatest musicals ever written. This cherished musical is a poignant folk tale, laden with happiness and tears - a musical that grows more resonant with every passing year. See it with someone you love.

First Muny production since 2008 is staged July 30- August 5 at The Muny in St. Louis, MO.

A SIGN OF THE TIMES a new 60's musical with a book by Bruce Vilanch. Story created by Richard Robin.

Directed by Gabriel Barre.

Music Direction by Rick Fox.

1965. The pulse of a changing era lures Cindy from Middle America to the swirl of Manhattan. Unexpected friends, lovers, careers and conflicts are all a subway ride away in a pop-fueled new musical featuring songs made famous by Petula Clark and other hit-makers of the day. I Know a Place, The Shoop Shoop Song and If I Can Dream are among the fabulous favorites on an eye-opening ride from innocence to experience. "Forget all your troubles, forget all your cares - go "Downtown" and find out who you are!"

Scenic Design by Paul Tate dePoo III. Costume Design by Jennifer Caprio. Lighting Design by Ken Billington. Projection Design by 59 Productions. Sound Design by Jay Hilton. Music Supervision by Joseph Church. Choreographed by JoAnn Hunter.

Presented by Goodspeed Musicals July 29-September 4 on the Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, CT.

JUNK: THE GOLDEN AGE OF DEBT a world-premiere play by 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama winner Ayad Akhtar.

Directed by Doug Hughes.

Fast-paced thriller.

The Deal. The Board Room. The Takeover.

This is the battleground where titanic egos collide, where modern day kings are made and unmade. It's a world where debt is an asset and assets are excuses for more debt, a world where finance runs the show. How did we get here? How did the world we once knew change?

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ayad Akhtar takes us back to the hotbed of the ‘80s and offers us an origin story for the world that finance has given us, a sexy and epic thriller about an upstart genius hell-bent on changing all the rules.

July 26 – August 21, 2016 at the Mandell Weiss Theatre of the La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, California.

POSTER BOY Music and Lyrics by Craig Carnelia. Book by Joe Tracz. Movement by Danny Mefford.

Directed by Olivier Award-nominee Stafford Arima.

With Jerry Dixon, Katie Lee Hill, Jose Llana, Stephen Wallem, Noah Zachary.

Inspired by actual events surrounding the 2010 suicide of Tyler Clementi, a college student who brought national attention to cyber-bullying, Poster Boy is a new American musical by Tony Award-nominated composer Craig Carnelia and playwright Joe Tracz. A community of gay men in an online chat room come together to discover what drove one of their own to take his life. Billed as "this provocative and moving new musical lays bare the complexity of protecting our privacy, identity and humanity in the digital era."

Rachel Hauck - Scenic Designer: Jessica Pabst - Costume Designer: Jen Schriever - Lighting Designer: Kai Harada - Sound Designer: Dave Tennant - Projection Designer: Marco Paguila - Music Director: Jane Cardona - Music Assistant: Craig Carnelia - Orchestrations: Brett Macias - Music Preparation: Jenny Dewar - Music Contractor.

World Premiere July 27 - August 7 on the Nikos Stage at the Williamstown Festival in Willianstown, MA.

CITY OF ANGELS music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by David Zippel with a book by Larry Gelbart.

Directed by Bill English who also provided the scenic design.

Music Direction by Dave Dobrusky.

This superb Tony award winning musical takes place during the 1940s in Los Angeles. Stine, a struggling screenwriter, attempts to pen his film noir masterpiece under the pressure of an oppressive producer and a failing marriage. Meanwhile, his on-page creations start to take on a life of their own, and the hard-boiled world of murder, private detectives, and femme fatales becomes a reality. Stine must walk the tightrope between the real world and the silver screen to see if this story can have a happy ending.

The cast includes: Jeffrey Brian Adams, Brandon Dahlquist, Monique Hafen, Samantha Rose Cardenas, Rudy Guerrero, John Paul Gonzalez, Caitlan Taylor, Nanci Zoppi, Ryan Drummond, Samantha Rose, William Giammona, Ken Brill, Nicole Frydman and Ryan Mardesich.

Creatives include: Morgan Dayley dance choreographer. Michael Oesch lighting designer - Tabbitha McBride wig and makeup design - Theodore J.H. Hulsker sound and projections designer - Melissa Torchia costume designer - Jacquelyn Scott props artisan and assistant scenic design - Mike "Miguel" Martinez fight choreographer - Tatjana Genser stage manager - Mary Chun orchestra reduction.

The orchestra includes: Piano Dave Dobrusky - Synthesizer Sylvia Chen, Tania Johnson - Bass Ian Early, Max Judelson - Drums Geneva Harrison, Andrew Maguire, Matt Schory - Woodwinds Nick DiScala, Audrey Jackson - Trumpet Justin Smith.

Performances through September 17 at the San Francisco Playhouse, San Francisco, CA.


STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Boldly go where no man has gone before with J.J. Abrams’ Academy Award-nominated film presented on huge screens with Michael Giacchino’s score performed live by the National Symphony Orchestra. Preshow Trek Talk Adam Nimoy, Leonard Nimoy's son and director, For the Love of Spock David Zappone, Producer, For the Love of Spock, Terry Farrell, actress in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Dave Lavery, Program Executive for Solar System Exploration, NASA HQ, Michelle Thaller, Deputy Director of Science Communications, NASA HQ. The Moderatosr will be Bob Jacobs, Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Communication, NASA HQ and - Emil de Cou, Conductor, National Symphony Orchestra. The panel will speak about Star Trek's influence on the NASA culture Saturday, July 30, at the Filene Center in Vienna, VA.

TONY BENNETT that ageless wonder who has won 19 Grammy awards, sings his hits Thursday, July 28, 2016, at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Virginia.

PAUL ANKA performs Friday, July 29, at the PNC Plaza at Steelstacks in Bethlehem, PA. On Saturday he's in the spotlight at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. Next Sunday, July 31, finds him at the Performing Arts Center in Westhampton Beach, NY.

DAVE KOZ entertains Saturday, July 30, at the Thornton Winery in Temecula, CA.

HUEY LEWIS & THE NEWS and Jamie Kent. Those Grammy-winning The Power of Love rockers perform Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Virginia.


GARRY MARSHALL famed actor, writer, director and producer died at 5:00pm on Tuesday July 19 from complications of pneumonia following a stroke at a hospital in Burbank, California. He was 81.

In adition to his groundbreaking television and film achievements including creating Happy Days, The Odd Couple, Laverne and Shirley and Mork and Mindy and directing movies including Pretty Woman and The Princess Diaries, he had a presence in theater co-writing with Lowell Ganz Wrong Turn at Lungfish, which played Los Angeles, Chicago and Off Broadway, and The Roast, co-written with Jerry Belson. That play was staged on Broadway in a production helmed by Carl Reiner in 1980.

Marshall also wrote the play Shelves, and in 1997, he and his daughter Kathleen founded the Falcon Theater in Burbank, CA.

Marshall also occasionally directed opera, including stagings of Jacques Offenbach’s The Grand Duchess, which opened the Los Angeles Opera’s 2005-06 season, and Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love for the San Antonio Opera in January 2008.

At the time of his death he was working on a stage adaptation of Pretty Woman, having just finished a rewrite of the book for the Broadway-bound musical.

The unequivocal creative genius never won an Emmy, Oscar, Tony or Grammy. What he was awarded was the undying respect and gratitude from millions for providing timeless, feel good entertainment.

Marshall received the American Comedy Awards’ Creative Achievement Award in 1990, the Writers Guild of America’s Valentine Davies Award in 1995, the PGA’s Honorary Lifetime Membership Award and Lifetime Achievement Award in Television in 1998 and the American Cinema Editors’ Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award in 2004. In 1997 he was inducted into the Academy of Television, Arts and Sciences’ Hall of Fame.

According to the Falcon Theare: "He loved telling stories, making people laugh, and playing softball, winning numerous championships. Even at age 81, he had a record this year of 6 - 1 pitching for his team."

He is survived by his beloved wife of 53 years, nurse Barbara Sue Marshall, two sisters, Ronny Hallin and Penny Marshall, three children, Lori, a writer, Kathleen, a theatre producer, and Scott, a film and TV director, as well as six grandchildren, and his live theatre, the Falcon Theatre in Burbank, California.

DR. JOSEPH BONGIOVI JR., Las Vegas plastic and reconstructive surgeon, passed away July 7, 2016, from complications of COPD. While on the surface it might appear that he has little to do with the entertainment community, a guess is that he had his share of celebrity clients. This obit to him on Broadway To Vegas is a personal tribute. I'm left handed and decades ago he saved my left hand ring finger from being amputated.

It was Christmastime and I was in bed talking on the telephone when I reached for a glass of water on the bed stand. The glass slipped. I grabbed for it, resulting my finger being cut when the glass broke. The person I was talking to rushed over and drove me to an emergency room. With blood soaking the towel I had wrapped around my finger, I was immediately ushered into a treatment room. Some medic looked at the digit and informed me that it couldn't be saved and would have to come off. He said I needed to sign some papers. I didn't think losing my finger was a good idea and told him so. Medical personal left the room, leaving me on a table with my hand in a liquid filled bucket

A scrub garbed man returned informing me that there was a reconstructive surgeon in one of the operating rooms. The operation has been going on for hours and still wasn't finished. The surgeon was tired and wanted to go home. However, if I wanted to wait until he was finished, he'd look at my finger and offer a second opinion. I said I'd wait.

Eventually, an exhausted looking man walked into my cubical, asked me my name and told he his. He lifted my hand out of the bucket, turned it, carefully stared at it and then uttered one of the most exhaustive sighs I had ever heard. He said, "Okay, but you'll have to wait while I get my equipment out of the car."

He said something to the medics who seemed puzzled. One looked at me and announced that the doctor thought he could save the finger. To another medic, he said the doctor was doing it on his own time and didn't want assistance.

He returned with a box containing a goofy looking contraption. Obviously home made it resembled a sci-fi contraption with a bunch of mirrors and magnifying lenses. He put on a special headset, put my hand under a bunch of odd lights and lenses and wanted to know where there was no feeling in the finger. From above the knuckle to the tip. He nodded and began.

Eventually I got to the point where I could turn my head and watch him work on me. At the time I was doing a lot of medical writing. Dr. Bongiovi indicated he had read some of my articles and he began discussing one. I was flattered beyond words. I started to ask him questions and he had no trouble working and talking.

At the time he was one of the few doing microscopic reconstructive surgeon. He conducted seminars for practicing surgeons. Today's common place microscopic equipment didn't exist, and he had to make his own. He told me that the problem with surgeons was that they were in too much of a hurry. With finger surgery you had to totally attach each and every layer. No skipping a stitch. No getting tired or lazy and thinking that two skin layers could be re-attached simultaneously. Among other problems, a hand could curl and once that happened the claw was permanent.

An employee stuck their head in and told the doctor that I had no medical insurance. He didn't respond.

After a few hours he was finished. Then he looked me straight in the eye and informed me that he had saved my finger and now I needed to do my part; exercises, stretching and finger massage every day forever. If I failed to do the physical therapy I'd ruin his work and the finger would start to curl, eventually bringing the hand into a permanently clenched position.

He packed up his equipment. I asked him how much I owed him. As he left the room he looked at me and said, "Nothing. Merry Christmas." I left the emergency room with my finger encased in an ordinary band-aid.

The next day he called and inquired if any feeling had returned to the finger. Some had. I again asked him what I owed him. As he hung up he said, "Didn't I tell you 'Merry Christmas'?"


Next Column: July 31, 2016
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Laura Deni

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